Relay to control window air unit - first attempt failed (seeking advice) Answered
I'm working on a thermostat project to control window AC units (which I will create an instructable for when it works). The need is to switch on and off an AC unit. The unit runs on 240 VAC (split phase) and the technical documentation says to put it on a circuit with a 20 AMP circuit breaker. I will be controlling the relay with 5 volts from an Arduino (although I suppose I can use an additional small relay to control the larger relay with a higher control voltage, if necessary... the less moving parts the better.)
I already tried with a 20 AMP Solid State Relay (SSR) from Omron, but it failed. The problem is that, due to the voltage drop in an SSR, they get really hot. The hotter they get, the less current they are able to switch. The other problem is that SSRs fail with the circuit closed or partially closed. This is not ideal. You wouldn't want to come back to your place after a vacation and find your AC had been running constantly the whole time...
I am thinking I need to use an electromechanical relay, but there are so many options on Mouser that I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed! Can someone please help point me in the right direction or suggest a good relay to use?